The Health Department will be closed June 19 for the Juneteenth holiday and June 27 for a staff retreat.
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Happy New Year! Now is the perfect time to quit smoking.

Ah, the New Year. A perfect time to reflect on the past, and the time ahead.

It’s also a great time to quit smoking tobacco. 

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you are one of the 100,000 Pierce County residents who smoke, you will immediately improve your health when you stop. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death. 

According to the American Cancer Society, 20 minutes after your last cigarette your heart rate and blood pressure drop. One month later, the tiny hairs in your lungs called cilia start to heal. Cilia clear mucus from your lungs. They help your body fight off infection.

Coughing helps your body clear infection. If your cilia aren’t working well, mucus can build up in your lungs. Quitting smoking also reduces inflammation in your body.


Tools and resources are the best ways to help kick your habit. Start with S.T.A.R.T steps and make a plan to quit. 

  • Set a quit date.
  • Tell your family and friends.
  • Anticipate and plan for challenges.
  • Remove cigarettes/chew/vape products.
  • Talk to your doctor.

More resources to help you quit

You are twice as likely to quit for good when you use resources and seek professional help. You can call the Washington State Quitline at (800)-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). Visit our website to find advice from medical experts, join support groups, or find free apps that can help you quit. 

Are you interested in helping others quit? Are you a health professional? Work as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. We’ll pay for your training and help you get certified. 

If you’re ready to quit smoking or vaping, we want to help! Learn about what living smoke free can do for you at

You are not alone

We recently talked with 3 people whose lives have been changed by smoking.

  • Suzanne Pak — Director of Community Health, Answers Counseling.
  • Stephanie Schaewe — Community member.
  • Jennifer Gossar — Health Department employee.

Each talked about how smoking tobacco affected them, and what they’re doing to move forward.

“I realized I was not in a place that was sustainable, and that things had to stop,” Gossar said about her time smoking cigarettes.

Watch the discussion below.

Quit smoking on a calendar